News! Downtown Disney West Side Starbucks Now Offering Starbucks Evening Menu with Beer and Wine

Attention, Starbucks fans: now you never have to leave your favorite hangout! At least not if you’re visiting the Downtown Disney West Side location.

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney's West Side

Starbucks Location in Downtown Disney’s West Side

Recently, the coffee giant announced that they’d be piloting a new Starbucks Evening menu in select locations throughout the U.S. These locations would offer beer and wine as well as food to go along with the adult beverage selections. So far, the menu has been rolled out in select stores in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Atlanta.

But today, we’re getting word that you can also enjoy the evening menu when you visit Walt Disney World, as the Starbucks located at Downtown Disney West Side has now joined the ranks.

Outdoor seating

A Glass of Wine By the Fire? Sounds Awesome!

Guests can enjoy wines by the glass or bottle, and beer and wine selections vary by location. In addition to the beverages, there are also tapas-style foods available. These include [Read more…]

News! STK Comes to Disney Springs and Animal Kingdom Starbucks Locale Suspected

We recently took a look back at some of the top Disney Food News Stories of 2014. And today, we’re happy to let you in on some of the new dining experiences you can expect in 2015. We figure there’s lots more to come, but this is certainly a good start!

STK Coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

First up: another new restaurant is coming to Disney Springs! STK by the The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc., will open in The Landing area of the new development, which replaces the closed entertainment district Pleasure Island.

STK is Coming to Disney Springs in 2015

STK is Coming to Disney Springs in 2015

STK will be a modern steakhouse, but will channel the atmosphere of a “sleek lounge”. Plans call for the restaurant to encompass approximately 14,000 square feet, two dining levels — and a DJ! This leaves us wondering — will STK make up for some of the night clubs we lost when Pleasure Island closed?

An Artist's Rendering of Disney Springs -- The Landing

An Artist’s Rendering of Disney Springs — The Landing

The DJ and lounge aspect sounds pretty cool, but we’re also looking forward to checking out the planned rooftop dining — the only such area slated for Disney Springs at present.

Interestingly, STK is the first announcement of a chain restaurant that we’ve seen slated for Disney Springs. Other locations include New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and London.

Probable Starbucks Location in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We are also hearing lots of rumblings about where Starbucks may be located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when it opens later this year.

Starbucks logo

Starbucks logo

While it hasn’t been officially announced, it looks like [Read more…]

The Year in Review: Top 10 Disney Food News Items of 2014!

We are standing on the cusp of a brand New Year, and we can’t wait to see what 2015 holds in store for us — and Disney!

Top10DisneyFoodNewsStories

But we can’t wave goodbye to the old year without looking back on some of the biggest food news that happened throughout Disney Parks.

Most of this year’s big news happened at Walt Disney World, but we have a few memorable moments to share with you from Disneyland as well as other Disney Parks around the globe.

Today, we bring you a look back at 2014’s Biggest Disney Food News Stories! We have a LOT to cover — let’s get started!

First up, a little something I like to call…

The Beginning of Finally Doing Something with Pleasure Island

It’s the story we feel like we’ve been watching for years — what’s happening at Downtown Disney Orlando’s now defunct Pleasure Island??

Well, 2014 finally saw some solid progress, and the Disney Springs story seems to be coming to life.

An Artist's Rendering of Disney Springs

An Artist’s Rendering of Disney Springs

Lots of changes have made a trip to Downtown Disney a challenge in the last couple of years. But as the year draws to a close, the parking garages are open, and we are seeing some of the plans take shape!

2014 kicked off with a surprise restaurant opening of sorts — the House of Blues added a new counter service offering, The Smokehouse. We say surprise because we told you about the restaurant for the first time just days before the walls came down and the doors opened for business!

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse at The House of Blues

The Smokehouse is strictly a walk-up window venue. But the covered outdoor seating is pleasant, and you can often take in live music as you enjoy barbecue favorites, like their Beef Brisket Sandwich, St. Louis Ribs, or Smoked Turkey Legs.

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw

Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich with House-made Cole Slaw from The Smokehouse

But it wasn’t all good news for Downtown Disney this year. Guests at T-Rex Cafe last Spring were in for some decidedly unpleasant dinner excitement, as one of the restaurant’s humongous fish tanks sprang a leak during dinner service!

However, no one was injured and all of the fish were reportedly rescued. We’re glad that all turned out happily in the situation, but we’ll never look at those huge fish tanks quite the same way again!

Also in the Spring, we said hello to a spot that’s quickly become one of our most favorite spots to shop in all of Walt Disney World — the Marketplace Co-op!

Disney Centerpiece

Disney Centerpiece

We have found some totally awesome stuff in the store’s Disney Centerpiece Section, including dishes, glasses, and other tableware that celebrate all of our Disney cult favorites. Whether you’re a Dole Whip fan or love memorabilia celebrating Tomorrowland, chances are you’ll find something that you’ve just gotta have!

Orange Bird Section

Orange Bird Section

Starbucks also continued to [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: December 11, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Disney World!! The season is rolling right along with festive treats and special events. And, as always, there’s plenty of other food news to go around: menu changes, new eats (did somebody say “Barbecued Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?!”), completed refurbishments, ongoing Downtown Disney construction, and more. So join us on another trip around the World to see What’s New

EPCOT

Holidays Around the World is in full swing at Epcot! This annual festival shares holiday traditions from around the globe through story, music, and — our favorite! — FOOD!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Happy Holidays from EPCOT!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

Holiday Storyteller in Japan

France decoration

France decoration

Remember, this is the only time of year to grab such treats as Happy Face Fried Cakes at the Joy of Tea in China, Gingerbread Ice Cream at L’artisan des Glaces in France, and Panettone sweet bread at Italy’s Gelato Stand.

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Happy Face Fried Cakes

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Panettone Sweet Bread display

Panettone Sweet Bread display

But there’s plenty of non-holiday food news as well… Starting in Morocco, Spice Road Table has not only started taking Advance Dining Reservations — they’re also now accepting the Disney Dining Plan.

To offer guests the ability to maximize their one Table Service plan credit, this tapas-based restaurant is now also serving full-sized entrees, including Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb, Roasted Chicken, and a Mediterranean Vegetable Platter, among others.

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table

Spice Road Table menu

Spice Road Table menu

Staying in Morocco, Tangierine Cafe debuted new entrees as well: a Meatball Platter and Saffron Rotisserie Chicken.

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe menu

Tangierine Cafe entree display

Tangierine Cafe entree display

At the United Kingdom’s Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, the [Read more…]

Food Truck Park Now Open in Downtown Disney’s West Side!

The construction walls are down at long last, and Food Truck Park is open in Downtown Disney’s West Side!

Nestled between Bongos Cuban Cafe and the West Side Starbucks, Food Truck Park provides a home base for the four Disney Food Trucks.

The cuisine of each food truck reflects that of a Disney Park, with Superstar Catering representing Hollywood Studios, and Namaste Cafe for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. World Showcase of Flavors bring tastes from Epcot’s annual International Food & Wine Festival to Disney guests year round, while Fantasy Fare features dishes from “Magic Kingdoms Around the World,” most notably the Hand-dipped Corn Dogs in honor of Disneyland.

Originally slated to open this past summer, Food Truck Park is open at last!

Entrance to Food Truck Park

Entrance to Food Truck Park

Atmosphere

The actuality of Food Truck Park differs somewhat from the original artistic renderings.

Food Truck Park concept art

Food Truck Park concept art

The elevated structure that serves as a de facto entrance to the area was anticipated to provide raised seating that guests would reach via a glass elevator.

Elevated structure

Elevated structure

What has come to pass (at least, at this point in time) is a bit more low-key, but still an attractive and open space providing nice waterfront views nonetheless.

Food Truck Park

Food Truck Park

Food Truck Park

Food Truck Park

Food Truck Park

Food Truck Park

Waterfront views

Waterfront views

View of Characters in Flight Balloon

View of Characters in Flight Balloon

Standing tables abound, along with more traditional tables and chairs for those wishing to linger and relax awhile.

Standing tables

Standing tables

Standing table

Standing table

Tables with seating

Tables with seating

There are two cool bonuses, I think, that come along with this dedicated space for the food trucks. First, let’s say you were [Read more…]

News: BabyCakes NYC Possible Return to Downtown Disney Orlando

Great news for a LOT of our DFB readers today.

We’ve been keeping tabs on the construction at Downtown Disney as this dining and entertainment district at Walt Disney World is transformed into the new Disney Springs. Recently, we shared updates on The Boathouse and Morimoto Asia — two new restaurants with anticipated opening dates in 2015.

The latest trademark discovery out of Orange County? The potential return of BabyCakes NYC, which closed its doors in the Marketplace earlier this year.

We’ve missed the BabyCakes NYC Cupcakes in Downtown Disney

Of note, [Read more…]

News! Boathouse and Morimoto Confirmed for Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs at Downtown Disney

We are so excited to finally shed some light on what’s happening behind those construction walls over at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

Disney Springs Construction

Disney Springs Construction

It seems that after stops, starts, delays, and renamings, Disney Springs is finally taking shape. And today, we’re sharing with you not one, but TWO new confirmed restaurants that will join the Disney Springs lineup sooner rather than later. And BOTH restaurants were featured on early posts here on DFB highlighting future Disney Springs dining.

The Boathouse

The Boathouse will offer waterfront dining with a nautical theme. Located at The Landing within Disney Springs, the restaurant is the brainchild of Schussler Creative, the same company that brought you other super-themed restaurants around Disney like T-Rex, Rainforest Cafe, and Yak & Yeti. Gibsons Restaurant Group will operate the spot.

The Boathouse -- Inside

The Boathouse — Inside

Guests can expect a mulitfaceted menu featuring American fare, including seafood, steaks, and chops. In addition, the restaurant will feature three different themed bars, including The Captain’s Raw Bar, The Admiral’s Club Bar, and The Dock Bar. Rooms within the restaurant will also carry a nautical theme and decor.

The Boathouse will offer guest more than just food, however. The restaurant will also serve as the launching spot for a number of boat-themed attractions. Guests can ride on a 40-foot Italian Water Taxi while they enjoy champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. There will also be guided “Amphicar” Tours that highlight sites around Disney Springs.

The Boathouse -- Outside View

The Boathouse — Outside View

Live music and private dining space round out the offerings at The Boathouse. The new restaurant is scheduled to serve Disney Springs guests until 2:00 AM.

The Boathouse is slated to open in the [Read more…]

Disney Food Throw Down: Best Fish and Chips in Walt Disney World

There are some pretty serious debates about where in Walt Disney World you’ll find the best fish and chips. Today, we thought we’d throw a little fuel on that fire by taking a closer look at some of our favorites.

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Mention that you’re visiting Walt Disney World and you’re hankering for this traditional British fare, and it’s a sure bet that somebody’s gonna have an opinion. And chances are good that you’ll be told to make a beeline for the UK Pavilion in Epcot.

When you get there, you’ll find two different spots that offer fish and chips. We’ll take a look at Yorkshire County Fish Shop first.

Located just before you cross the bridge into France, Yorkshire is a walk-up window where they keep it simple: you can order fish and chips, a cookie, or your choice of a few beverages.

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Yorkshire County Fish Shop

And thank goodness for simplicity, because even with it, the lines here can get loooooooonnng. But there’s a really good reason for that…the fish and chips are pretty great.

Fish & Chips

Fish and Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Because this spot is so busy, the fish is usually pretty fresh. The crunchy batter isn’t too greasy or heavy, and the chips really are more chip-py than french fry-like.

Cross-section of fish

Cross-section of fish

And since it’s counter service, you can score delicious, filling food with no advance dining reservation. We also hear from lots of you that a stop at Yorkshire is a WDW ritual worth keeping during every visit!

BUT — seating can be hard to find on busy days. We’ve enjoyed our Yorkshire fish and chips sitting on a curb or while standing a time or two.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room

And that brings us to the next contender: Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room right next door.

Whether you’re just after a pint or you’re looking to enjoy a meal, this traditional British pub is an extremely popular stop. If you’d like to dine here, we strongly recommend you book an advance dining reservation.

Outside of the Rose and Crown

Outside of the Rose and Crown

At Rose and Crown, you can order fish and chips off of the pub menu, or you can order them in the restaurant as well. Size and price vary depending on where you’re enjoying your fix. ;-)

But having them served at a table service restaurant means that you have more choices. With a menu that includes other fish and chip shop standards, like mushy peas, you can round out the meal a bit.

Classic beer-battered fish and chips with tartar sauce.

Fish and Chips from Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room

Seating choices include comfy a/c inside, or gorgeous views of World Showcase Lagoon on the patio.

Cookes of Dublin

But then, there’s the relatively new kid on the block who has brought some serious fish and chips game. Yep, we’re heading to Downtown Disney for a trip to [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: September 24, 2014

Food is always the star of the show for Disney Food Fans, but there’s no time of year when food steals the spotlight quite like this… with a little something called the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

But that’s not all the food news in these parts! We’ve spotted more fall treats and new Resort eats as we’ve been looking around Disney World to see What’s New

EPCOT

So, right off the bat, we know this isn’t exactly what you would call a “surprise” ;) , but since it’s Epcot’s time to shine, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the recent opening of this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Food and Wine Festival!

Be sure to check out the Must-Eats among the dishes making their debut this year!

Bacon Hash at the Farm Fresh Booth

Bacon Hash at the Farm Fresh Booth

Coconut Candy at the Brazil Booth

Coconut Candy at the Brazil Booth

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing at the Hops & Barley booth

In other EPCOT food news (yep, there’s still more!), the ice cream experts at L’Artisan des Glaces are helping everyone get into the Fall spirit with their release of the Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich.

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich

You can enjoy this pumpkin deliciousness in a [Read more…]

Tips From the DFB Guide: Our Top 3 Tips for Late Night Disney World Dining

You’ve just arrived at Walt Disney World and it’s late, and you’re starving. Or you’ve finished at the Park for the day, it’s late, and you’re starving. Or you’ve wrapped up a fun time at Fantasia Golf and — well, you get the gist.

2014 dfb guide 3d cover

Where do you go in Walt Disney World when you’re starving and want to score a late night bite?

Well, there are lots of places, actually! But today, I thought we’d take a closer look at three of our favorites featured in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book!

Raglan Road Irish Pub

While there are several spots at Downtown Disney where you can enjoy a late night bite to eat, Raglan Road is one of our favorites.

The menu features a mix of comforting, traditional Irish pub food with some fusion flavors, like curry. We have lots of favorites here, but one of the best dishes on the menu is the Fish and Chips! And no worries if you follow a gluten-free approach to eating — their Gluten-Free Fish and Chips are just as fantastic as the traditional version (some even like them better).

Fish and Chips at Raglan Road

Fish and Chips at Raglan Road

But menu is only half the draw here. You’ll also find live music and traditional Irish dancing nightly.

Although it can be tough to get a walk-up table during the earlier evening hours, it’s a little easier to grab a spot later at night. The full menu is available until 11PM; order from the bar menu from 11PM until “late”.

Gasparilla Island Grill

Regardless of the hour, night or day, you can find something to eat at Gasparilla Island Grill.

Located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, it’s a monorail stop away from both Magic Kingdom and the Ticket and Transportation Center. You’ll find a full array of grilled items, salads, pizza, and flatbreads. We absolutely loved the Margherita Flatbread when we tried it on a recent visit!

Margherita Flatbread from Gasparilla Island Grill

Margherita Flatbread from Gasparilla Island Grill

Enjoy the full dinner menu until [Read more…]